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Globalization: enough is enough?

By Chen Qiyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-04-05 06:43:29

Editor's note: Chen Qiyu, 20, a sophomore student at Tsinghua University, won first place out of 34 college-student finalists at the 22nd China Daily "21st Century��Coca-Cola Cup" National English Speaking Competition, held from March 24 to 26 in Nanjing. Honoring the elite young English public speakers from across the country, the competition attracted more than 100,000 college students nationwide to take part this year.

My grandpa was among the first group of Chinese English teachers sent to Australia (to study) by the Chinese government back in the 1980s, when our country opened its doors. Off the plane, the hospitable Australian taxi driver asked him, "Where are you going today?" "Where to die?" Grandpa was shocked. With very limited access to authentic English, he had no idea of the Australian way of pronouncing "today".

My mom was luckier when she went to college in the 1990s. She had tapes of recorded BBC and VOA news to listen to. When she got the chance to step on the soil of England, she was much more confident than grandpa had been. The first morning after arrival, hungry and tired after a long flight, and with a Chinese stomach longing for hot food and drink, her only wish was to have a big and hot breakfast. The restaurant waitress asked with a British accent completely comprehensible to my mom's trained ear, " Would you like a Continental breakfast or an English one?" Well, the European continent is much bigger than England, so must be the breakfast. She said to herself. Without hesitation, she replied:" Continental Breakfast, please." The waitress took the order and Mom was very satisfied about herself until she saw the tiny breakfast of cold milk and iced juice, instead of fried bacon and hot sausages.

Globalization: enough is enough?

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